Why are free spins restricted to certain online slots?

If you’ve ever browsed through a selection of online casino bonuses (in particular bonuses that offer wager-free spins) then it’s likely that you’ve noticed you can’t pick which slots you use your free spins on. Instead, the same restricted selection of slots appear time and again.


These slots include timeless classics and modern masterpieces such as Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Gonzo’s Quest Megaways, Age of the Gods and Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead… But, why do all casinos use the same handful of games as part of their bonuses? 


To answer that question we’ve broken it down into four subsections, as we believe there are four very good reasons why the same online slots are appearing on rotation at online casinos across the internet. 

1. Simplicity

The first reason we see the same set of games appear regularly is because they’re simple! If you take a close look at almost all of the online slots tied to welcome bonuses, you’ll see that they’re incredibly easy to play, featuring little in the way of confusing features or mechanics. 


A good portion of players that sign up for casino welcome bonuses are new, experiencing online slots for the very first time, so it’s mightily important that they’re not put off or intimidated by the games put in front of them. If they are intimidated there’s a risk they’ll leave the site for good. 


Starburst is without a doubt one of the simplest online slot games ever created, and for that reason, it can be found tied to hundreds of casino offers. Games like Starburst might not have the most exciting features, but they do a stellar job of softly introducing players to online slots.

2. Familiarity

We previously mentioned that a good portion of slot players are newbies. Well, the other portion is mostly established slots players who know their way around a casino lobby and genuinely understand the intricacies of an online slot game. 


Because of this, most operators lean towards tying popular games to their bonuses. This makes a lot of sense as players have already placed trust in these games in the past and if they’re looking for casino bonuses, it’s likely that they’ve enjoyed a positive experience with them.


It’s hard to ignore games such as Gonzo’s Quest and Book of Dead, they’re almost always placed at the top of casino lobbies and therefore end up getting played the most.

Like anything in life, people tend to go with names they trust and are familiar to them when purchasing products. The same applies for choosing casino offers that are tied to popular slots.   

3. The fun factor

The whole point of playing online slots is to have fun, and ensuring that games tied to welcome bonuses are enjoyable is imperative! Ultimately, welcome bonuses are a ‘taster’ for what’s to come and convince players to stick around and keep playing. 


If you’re introduced to a casino with a sub-par slot that feels shoddy and unexciting, then you’re not going to stick around for very long, whereas if you’re treated to a five star slot that’s engaging and entertaining, then you’re going to be satisfied, even if you don’t win the first time around.


Operators know that there are a number of games out there that are timeless, unoffensive and most importantly fun! Take Gonzo’s Quest Megaways for example, a slot that is often used as part of casino’s welcome bonuses. This slot not only features the legendary Megaways mechanic but also boasts a wheel-of-fortune mini-game, free spins and unbreakable wilds.


You’re seeing the same games time and again because they’re fun! Why would operators risk changing a winning strategy when players are going crazy for free spins on games like this? 

4. Savvy savings

Whilst not always the case, there’s one cunning tactic that some casinos utilise when putting together their welcome bonuses. They’ll very carefully pick slots with a lower than average winning potential. This way the free spins don’t yield too much in the way of winnings for players.


Unfortunately, most people don’t tend to look into the finer details of the slots they play such as RTP and volatility, therefore they don’t actually realise that they’re not really getting value from the game they’re playing. 


A good example of this is welcome bonuses featuring NetEnt slot Starburst. On one hand, this is one of the most iconic games of all time, it’s universally loved and absolutely perfect for beginners… However, the game does have a low volatility and relatively modest RTP, which means that there’s a greater likelihood that the game will only pay out small sums.


Furthermore, the spin value on free spins tends to be quite low – usually in the region of 10-20p per spin. This is so that the bonus costs the casino as little as possible, while still offering the player plenty of spins.  Not all slots will allow a spin value so low, and so the casino is restricted to those that do.


Sometimes, if a casino is offering a large number of free spins as part of their welcome bonus they’ll utilise their own proprietary slots rather than more established games. Naturally the casino makes more profit from their own games as they avoid the license fees. Another reason why players see very similar offers and games from casino-to-casino is that casinos owned by the same company, or that form part of a network, may use the same proprietary games as part of their free spins bonuses across the network of sister-sites.

Relevant news

Leave a Reply